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Judges 16:22

March 1st, 2012

Get With the Program

I haven’t written in a long time. Sorry. Back in the dim past, I thought this blog might be my ticket to a writing career, and apart from that, I just enjoyed the work. I got to know a lot of interesting people. I got myself on national TV. I felt that I had a voice. That was swell, but I no longer feel drawn to sit here every day.

I may be having too much fun in real life to allow me to devote myself to blogging. I’m getting to do so many things I’ve always wanted to do; I can’t tell you how wonderful it is.

Things I used to fail at suddenly work. Doors are opening. Problems are fading. My hope keeps increasing.

I keep seeing the answers to my prayers, as they materialize. It’s very odd, but I’ve learned that I have to pay attention, because very often, God will give me exactly what I asked for, but because I couldn’t anticipate the form it would take, I won’t recognize it immediately. You have to recognize these things and thank God and glorify him, if you want them to keep coming.

I had a dream–not the kind you have when you sleep, but a hope–that I would some day have a big garage-like room where I could put my tools and my musical instruments, and I wanted it to have seating space. I wanted it to be a place where I could do the things that I do. Creating things. Fixing things. Playing music. Socializing with friends. One day not long ago, I looked around my garage, and I realized God had already given me a small version of it.

The garage used to be out of control, and there were things I could not get to work right. The milling machine had some problems I couldn’t figure out. I couldn’t find a decent air dryer for the compressor. The lathe lacked tooling and threading options. I enjoyed the garage, but it didn’t work as it should have. I prayed for God to help me organize it and to help me get the tools working as they should.

Suddenly, the clutter is disappearing. There is space to work. I have an air conditioner. The air dryer is installed. Both compressors work, and I have a hose reel on each. The table saw and router are ready to go at a moment’s notice. The drill press and band saw are on wheeled bases so I can use them whenever I want. The workbench is positioned where it should be, so several people can work there at once. The mill is fixed. I’m working on choosing a better lathe. The scrap pile, which was like a beast I could not tame, is about to be subdued. I couldn’t get this stuff going on my own, but now it’s happening.

I’m also having barbecues. My friends and I have great food and good times, and we spend time in prayer and talk about God. It unifies us and helps us.

I think I have the guitar figured out. I’m using fingerpicks now, like Freddie King, and I’m even playing the banjo to get my picking skills back.

The guitar I started last year is finally nearing completion. Look at this.

It’s going to be really beautiful, not to mention unique. I couldn’t get it done on my own. All it lacks now is shellac, nitro, and hardware. I already have the HVLP guns to finish it. It’s moving right along.

I don’t believe in the TBN prosperity gospel AS PREACHED. I do not believe we’re all supposed to be rich, or that God gives us money in exchange for paying off Kenneth Copeland. I don’t believe the self-help gospel, either. There is a big difference between a man of faith and a man of positive thinking. But I know–I KNOW–that God will give you good things if you get into his will. He DOES heal. He DOES open doors. He DOES give you the desires of your heart. Not because you wrote checks to Benny Hinn or Steve Munsey, but because you prayed in the Spirit, helped the needy, fasted, stood on the word, and put God first in your life.

This life is not supposed to be miserable. Your body is supposed to be an embassy; a piece of heaven itself. Heaven’s laws, not earth’s laws, are supposed to rule your life. You’re going to have a certain number of problems, because the earth is a battlefield, and you’re a combatant. You can’t live here without being affected. But you are supposed to live in victory. That, I’m sure of.

For me, all this has flowed from praying in tongues. It put a foundation under my life, and everything else grew from it. It may not conform to your doctrine. I’m not talking about doctrine, though. I’m talking about what my God has done for me. There is a ton of support for it in the Bible, but you pretty well have to be full of the Spirit to see it, and if you choose, it’s very easy to deny it. At the moment, I don’t feel like writing a term paper to support my observations, but if you try what I’ve done, you will see whether or not I’m right.

God told me about this over 20 years ago, and I still walked away. I paid the price. I should have been married and doing something fulfilling by now. Instead I wandered in blindness. I got involved with a completely inappropriate and hopeless woman who would have ruined my life (she gave it a good try), had God permitted the relationship to continue. I fiddled with career moves that were doomed for lack of blessing. But now I am fortunate enough–sufficiently blessed–to see redemption in the time I have left. There is still quite a bit of toothpaste in the tube, and God is making the most of it for me.

I won’t complain. I caused my own problems. And things are going extremely well now. I feel like a young man. I have energy. I don’t have pains. I have no prescriptions. I don’t wear glasses or sweat about what I eat. I can lift the things I need to lift. I don’t get back aches or sore feet.

I don’t sit around wondering if this is all there is or why I should go on. Every morning is Christmas morning. Life is a succession of undeserved gifts.

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m gloating. I’m not. I’m just amazed at God’s power and generosity.

God is going to take me out of this place. My faith tells me I’m headed north, to a place with a Garage of Blues bigger than this one. It will be dedicated to him, as my current garage is, as will the rest of the property. The whole place will be a sanctuary. A place of peace and rest. Wait and see.

This weekend I’ll be cooking again. I’m smoking a Boston butt, and I’ll be making fries fried twice in beef fat. I’ll also make cole slaw and a mango cheesecake. The cheesecake is beyond description. I use my own mangoes, which I freeze. You can’t get mangoes like this in a store.

Friends will come by, and we’ll start the day with the blues and good conversation. Later on, we’ll have Christian music and prayer, and we’ll let the Holy Spirit lead. It should be great. It’s really God’s party, so I am counting on him to make it work.

I better get up and do something worthwhile. I just felt like providing an update. If you like what you see, try it yourself. I will help if I can.

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10 Responses to “Judges 16:22”

  1. Heather P Says:

    Gorgeous guitar!

  2. Dave R. Says:

    We all still love you, Steve. As long as you’re living a life fulfilled, that’s really all that matters. I’ve been more remiss in updating my blog than you have, but I’ve been busy and fulfilled, so I’ve got that going for me … which is nice …

  3. Onmilo Says:

    Life continiues to lead us down new & different paths. So You know, I still consider your books some of the most entertaining I have ever had the pleasure to read.
    Take care with yourself.

  4. anne Says:

    Hi Steve! I stopped being an avid blog reader awhile ago, but i still stop by a handful that mean something to me. I’m so glad I stopped by to read this. Thank you for the uplifting words!

    I am very happy that you are doing so well.

  5. GrumpyUnk Says:

    That is going to be an absolutely beautiful instrument when all finished and assembled. I can’t believe the grain on that.

    I really have to tell ya how glad I am that I stopped by today and checked on things.

    I needed to hear that & you have no idea how much I needed the encouragement.
    Watch your email. Have a request coming.

    Thanks, GrumpyUnk

  6. Ben A. Trujillo Says:

    Hi Steve:

    I check in regularly to see what you’ve posted. Glad to see this post in particular. I keep a file of quotes that I share from, depending on the subject, and of course I credit the author. I use quotes from your blog so often it’s embarrassing, ’cause I fear people will think I worship you, which I don’t at all, but God has given you the gift of often expressing what I can recognize as truth, but which I have trouble putting into words myself. God bless! <Ben

  7. Steve H. Says:

    Wow, thanks, Ben. I agree, it would be a bad idea to worship me. But I would have a hard time turning down tithes. I have my eye on a digital phase converter.

  8. Peg Says:

    Steve – just nice to hear from you. I am not doing as much online. Helping my elderly parents much more these days; an honor to do so.

    Hope Marv & Maynard are good. Mr Mollo and the girls say “hi”!

  9. Charlie Bravo Says:

    Congratulations, Steve.
    It’s great to see that the guitar project has come back to life, from its temporary hibernation.
    That guitar will have a very special sound, and you know why.
    It will be the breath of life, and that comes only from above.

  10. Steve H. Says:

    I appreciate all the nice comments. Charlie, if I ever get the finish put on that guitar, I promise to put up more photos. I think it will be a neat instrument.